Looking Back

In 2014, Perryton will celebrate its 95th birthday. As we usher in the new year, we look back at how Perryton was 100, 95, and 50 years ago. If you have pictures or memories of Perryton and Ochiltree County’s past, feel free to share them on Facebook or in the comments section below!

100 years ago – 1914
A century ago, Ochiltree County existed, but Perryton didn’t. (Ochiltree County was established in 1889.) The railroad went through the northern Texas Panhandle, making Ochiltree a one- or two-day trip from the railroad. This accessibility helped grow the county, which had 1,602 residents. According to the 1910 census, there were 264 area farms and ranches. More and more locals were expanding from cattle ranching to farming. The county had 9,000 acres of planted wheat, 7,400 acres of sorghum, and 2,075 acres of corn.

President: Woodrow Wilson
Vice President: Thomas R. Marshall
Cost of a first-class stamp: $.02
Eggs: $.35/dozen
Milk: $.36/gallon
Gas: $.12/gallon
Ounce of gold: $20.72 (inflation-adjusted cost: $482.86)
Barrel of crude oil: $.81
Bushel of wheat: $.98
Consumer price index: 10.0

95 years ago – 1919
In 1919, The North Texas and Santa Fe Railway announced a line expansion from Shattuck, Oklahoma to Spearman. Perryton was founded on the rail line and replaced Ochiltree, which was eight miles to the south, as the county seat.

At that time, Ochiltree County’s population was approximately 2,331. The railway access and strong prices per bushel made wheat farming even more profitable than it previously was.

Thus far in its history, the majority of Ochiltree County supported the Democratic presidential candidate.

President: Woodrow Wilson
Vice President: Thomas R. Marshall
Ounce of gold: $20.70 (inflation-adjusted price: $279.73)
Barrel of crude oil: $2.01
Bushel of wheat: $2.16
Consumer price index: 17.3

50 years ago – 1964
Half a century ago, oil and gas exploration was taking off in Ochiltree County. Some exploration had occurred since 1912, but a major producer was first successful in 1955. In 1950, 4,644,000 barrels of crude oil were produced in the county, compared with 341,500 barrels in 1956.

With the success in oil production, the population boomed as well. In 1960, the county’s population was 9,380. (It was 6,024 in 1950.)

In the farming sector, irrigation expanded and continued to do so throughout the decade and into the 1970s.

The majority of local voters supported the Republican presidential candidate, a trend that began in 1952.

President: Lyndon B. Johnson
Cost of a first-class stamp: $.05
Gas: $.30/gallon
Eggs: $.54/dozen
Milk: $.95/gallon
Ounce of gold: $35.10 (inflation-adjusted cost: $263.91)
Barrel of crude oil: $1.80
Bushel of wheat: $1.37
Consumer price index: 31.0

 


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